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PATCH-WORLd Research Phase Results. 6.10.08 Karvia - Finland Project 2nd Meeting.

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patch world research phase results

PATCH-WORLd Research Phase Results


Karvia - Finland

Project 2nd Meeting

“About a decade ago, some kind of movies and cartoons such as Star Trek or The Jetsons presented us with a vision of family life that seemed light years away to us: who could imagine a life in outer space, filled with electronic gadgets like holograms, electronic diaries and alien furry household pets? Merely ten years later, this is not so unimaginable anymore: Cell phones, PDA’s, electronic pets, the internet,… all seem to be quickly incorporated in families’ everyday lives”

(Livingstone & Bovill, 2001; Van Rompaey, 2002; Mackay & Ivey, 2004).

ict communication and the families
ICT, Communication and the Families

General ICT incorporation and development in Italy

ict communication and the families4
ICT, Communication and the Families

Research methodology

1) Analysis and review of the literature (existing researches, studies, reports)

Review of the web – existing cross-national, national and regional researches, projects, initiatives, good practices, etc.;

Review of the ISTAT statistics studies

2) Interviews with experts in the field of ICT researches and in the educational sphere with:

  • Mr. Mario Rotta _ expert on ICT, e-learning and on-line learning environments
  • Ms. Rita Minello_ pedagogues expert in learning processes and training methodologies, in room and on-line,
  • Mr. Antonio Fini_Expert in e-learning platforms and in particular of cooperative and collaborative systems.

3) Survey on 20 families from different Italian regions and with different educational and professional backgrounds – all having a child or children aged between 11,18 and over.

ict communication and the families5
ICT, Communication and the Families

Italian access to ICT (ISTAT report)

In Italy the access to ICT at home is growing rapidly, especially in families with at least one child.

Followingthe ISTAT survey the main technological tools used by the Italian families are:

ict communication and the families6
ICT, Communication and the Families

Owners of DVD players, digital decoders, mobile phones, parabolic aerials and PCs have increased in number since 2005.

Increased access to Internet: improves the quality of home connection, decreases, in fact, the number of narrowband connections (through traditional telephone line or IDSN) and increases the number of families using the broadband (ADSL or other types of broadband connection).

ict communication and the families7
ICT, Communication and the Families

Levels of ICT ownership at home is generally linked to cultural, socio-economic and generational factors

Families formed only by 60 year old people or over do not, in general, have access to technological tools: only 6.5% uses a PC and 4.8% has access to Internet. Broadband connection (2.2%) is practically non-existent.

Furthermore, the ownership on new TV linked technologies by this type of family is very limited: parabolic aerial (10.6%) and digital decoders (6.4%).

The only technological tools with widespread ownership (besides colour TV) is the mobile phone (52.2%).

At the other end there are families with at least one child under age: PC and Internet access (69.7% and 51.8% respectively).

These families have also the highest ratio of broadband connections (21.1%) while mobile phones have reached the same level as TV sets (96%). Also video recorders (82.4%) and DVD players (75.1%) are commonly owned.

ict communication and the families9
ICT, Communication and the Families

The most disadvantaged families are those in which the father is a manual worker or is unemployed.

Between families where the father is a normal worker and those of managers or professionals there is a gap of about 30% in PC ownership and 37% in access to Internet.

The difference between these two types of families is less relevant but still wide, also for cheaper technologies such as DVD players (14%) and is practically non-existent as regards mobile phones.

ict communication and the families10
ICT, Communication and the Families

For some technological tools the difference between families of professionals and managers and those of normal workers is increasing: access to broadband Internet for instance goes from 17% to 21% and the ownership of digital TVs increases from 4% to 8%.

ict communication and the families11
ICT, Communication and the Families

Trend of the Internet use per age

The peak in the use of PCs is between 11 and 19 years of age (more than 75%) and for Internet from 15 to 24 (more than 67%) and it rapidly decreases with age. The use of the PC in people between 35 and 44 years of age decreases to 53.8% and the difference in the use of Internet is more contained (45.7%). Only 16.4% of the people between 60 and 65 uses a PC and 12.3% uses Internet. For the over 65, the use of these technologies is only a marginal factor.

ict communication and the families12
ICT, Communication and the Families

Patterns of access to a home computer

The timing is good: PC and internet use is on the rise, with 70% of

young people now using it at home, school or elsewhere.

ict communication and the families13
ICT, Communication and the Families

A deeper overview: our research with the 20 families

A number of factors appeared to have contributed to the high levels of computer ownership in the families surveyed.

First, many parents stated that they bought computers to support their child’s education and to provide further educational opportunities for their children

Second, a large number of parents used computers themselves for leisure and work purposes.

Third, some families suggested that they needed the technology to keep in contact with distant relatives.

Finally, a number of families regarded computers as an integral part of every

day life in the twenty-first century.

ict communication and the families14
ICT, Communication and the Families

Frequency of use of computers in household in rural/urban areas

Children from urban areas are more likely to use a computer at home

than those in rural areas, especially for game activities.

the use of ict how and why
The use of ICT: How and why


Use of a technology is not the same as access. The main use of ICT at home,

according to the families interviewed for the survey, is for the following activities:

the use of ict how and why17
The use of ICT: How and why

The parents and children use of the ICT in Italy


the use of ict how and why18
The use of ICT: How and why


The use of computers for reasons different from work or study, in particular as a playing tools, has a crucial role in the computer culture.

Playing is also a way of learning: it is an activity through which an individual relationships with the computer can be established and is a way also to understand one’s level of competence and skills. The results show that certain skills learned via computer can lead to social enhancement, e.g. problem-solving skills and communication skills, as well as social development.

Another result is that new technologies can help children to express their skills.

The majority of children and teen-agers interviewed declare to prefer the use of ICT tools for leisure purposes rather than for school work.

the use of ict how and why19
The use of ICT: How and why

The majority of children and young people interviewed state that they preferred to use ICT for leisure purposes than for school work.

Use of the Internet, computer games, leisure activities recorded in the ICT logs included the following:

• Surfing web sites related to their popular cultural interests.

• Playing networked, online games.

• Shopping.

• Finding cheats for computer games.

• Using chat rooms.

•Using instant messaging (sometimes with webcams).

• Downloading music.

• Downloading photographs.

the use of ict how and why20
The use of ICT: How and why

Some children reported pretending to their parents that they were using the home

computer for educational purposes when they were actually using it for ‘fun’.

A minority of parents argued that console games and non-educational

computer games have developed particular skills in their children, such as

making them think, or developing factual information about specific topics.

However, it is hard to identify and measure these ‘gains’ because they are so

embedded in the pupils’ everyday lives.

the use of ict how and why21
The use of ICT: How and why

A particular gap in parental knowledge relates to video games. Children like to play videogames and sometimes they play with their parents.

There is also a huge possibility for recreation as television, radio and magazine media increasingly move to electronic formats.

In general the parents don’t know the games contents

Only a third of parents who were surveyed said they play videogames with their children some or all of the time. Most of those parents are younger than 40 and part of a generation that grew up playing video games themselves.

the use of ict how and why22
The use of ICT: How and why

EDUCATION - What children say:

ICT is regarded as making homework less boring because they use computers as: ‘cool’;

interactive and multimodal texts are more interesting than books;

ICT save time (e.g. it is easier to write and revise documents on a computer than by hand) and enhance the presentation of children’s work;

the Internet is a good source of information (range and depth) and educational materials (such as revision websites);

ICT enable multi-tasking and is perceived by children to improve grades

Internet offers readily availableinformation for children’s school projects and researches.

ICT contribute both to making school work more enjoyable and also to pupils’ perceptions of achievement, therefore it is perceived as motivational.

The majority of children and young people believe that ICT competence would be important for their futures and careers.

The interviewed who use computers at home for school work at least once a week are also the same subjects who believe that using a computer can improve their grades and have most home-based electronic resources.

the use of ict how and why23
The use of ICT: How and why

EDUCATION - What parents say:

The majority of parents believe that skills in ICT would be vital for their children’s future.

Their comments are often linked to the importance that ICT might play in

children’s future careers.

The majority (84%) of parents agree with the statement that ‘Using a computer helps my child to learn useful things’.

Families buy computers for their educational potential.

The majority of parents believe that computers help their children to learn useful skills and gain knowledge


enabling them to find new sources of information;

enhancing the presentation of their work;

providing more opportunities for revision/consolidation of learning;

saving time on mundane tasks such as editing; and increasing their motivation.

the use of ict how and why24
The use of ICT: How and why
  • Parents reported that using ICT raised pupils’ confidence and had motivational effects.
  • ICT can be motivational because it
  • contributes both to making school work more enjoyable and also to the pupils’ perceptions of achievement;
  • is interactive and multimodal texts can be more interesting than books
  • BUT, in their opinions, THERE ARE SOME BARRIERSIN USING ICT for educational purposes
the use of ict how and why25
The use of ICT: How and why

What are the barriers to using ICT for educational purposes?

These include:

a lack of explicit instruction to do so by teachers;

a lack confidence on how to use ICT as applicable to specific subjects;

a lack of interest in particular subjects per se

This shows clear implications in terms of addressing how schools deliver out of school ICT opportunities for their pupils in ways that make them more attractive for children.

the use of ict how and why26
The use of ICT: How and why
  • Risks
  • Some parents identified what they felt to be educational
  • disadvantages in the use of ICT tools. These included the perceived enhanced ability to plagiarise by cutting and pasting from the Internet, the possible negative
  • effects on handwriting and the potential for distraction by non-educational
  • uses of ICT.
  • Parents want, but sometimes they don’t have the right competences
  • to talk to children about the dangers of ICT tools and Internet,
  • to encourage children to look critically at the information they find on the web
  • To have the basic computer security systems in place
  • To track and monitor their children’s online activity and movements
the use of ict how and why27
The use of ICT: How and why
  • Parents
  • While allowing them to use ICT tools generally supports an atmosphere of exploration, there are some more specific things which many parents could do.
  • These might include:
  • ensuring that appropriate filtering software has been installed and that children know the rules of Internet safety
  • occasionally joining in, sharing or talking to their children about their use of the Internet
  • encouraging enjoyable, relaxed, independent use of the Internet
  • providing a context for informal learning through ICT as informal learning becomes more significant, ensuring children have alternative sources of information (e.g. an encyclopaedia) rather than assume the Internet suffices.
the use of ict how and why28
The use of ICT: How and why

Examples & Good Practices

examples good practices
Examples & Good Practices

The culture of videogames:

the world of the young and the world of the adults compared.

(Istituto IARD under the sponsorship of the Ministero per le Politiche Giovanili)

A new study about videogames indicated they have become "an increasingly social activity" particularly among parents and children.

Setting stereotypes aside, the study revealed gaming to be very much a social activity.

The project aims to develop informal skills through online games both for parents and children, making them play together.

After the first experimentationthe majority of the parents who performed the games with their children now see them as a positive activity for their kids: 73% believe that videogames teach their children about technology and 68% feel that they them with some “school skills”.

They value the skills kids learn through interactive games and can see the benefits both socially and educationally.

examples good practices30
Examples & Good Practices

Project EDUCANDO – Marche Region


The Project Educando is an extra curricular activity for young girls and boys. It consists in carrying out computer and Internet related activities with the help of teachers and families (drawing, writing stories, games and animation, photography, acting etc).

The games favour “free creativity” in children and are also a way to communicate and to establish social relations with other children of the same age, with teachers and educators in a protected online environment.

Children and parents, guided by experts, produce Internet pages explaining the activities carried out.

examples good practices31
Examples & Good Practices



The drawings were photographed and published on the project’s website in a Picture gallery in which the children added a story referring to the drawings.


The children were read the beginning of a story and were invited to invent the end of it. The project’s website has a gallery of images representing the beginning of the story and the children have published with the help of their parents and teachers the end they invented.



The children have been given the opportunity to write on Internet as if it were their own diary, free to express their thoughts on the day’s events.


Parents can use a Forum to exchange opinions over the project and communicate among themselves.

examples good practices32
Examples & Good Practices
  • I CARE: how to learn, communicate and act in an
  • Educational network.
  • An Internet Guide for parents providing them key information
  • in a wide variety of ways
  • How to use Internet
  • How are the main risks
  • How to prevent them

Project ReMida21

(Italian network for XXI century didactics and learning)

One-O-Five Live - Cultura

How to reduce the generation gap between parents and children in the use of computer and mobile phones: ISTRUCTION FOR THE USE

Cybermondo ... The important information for parents and children on the Internet. Risks for children: it is possible to keep the use of the computer under control…

examples good practices33
Examples & Good Practices

Ministero delle Comunicazioni

FAMILY SPACE  Stories that parents and children want to write together on the web.


How to use Internet

How are the main risks

How to prevent them

examples good practices34
Examples & Good Practices
  • EASY Project for a safe and critical use of new technologies
  • The project is promoted by Save the Children – Italy and Adiconsum (Consumers Association) and is financed by the European Commission
  • EASY is a nationwide awareness project for a safe and critical use of new technologies.
  • The starting point is the recognition of the exploitation of the competences and experiences of young people in defining and influencing new online technologies.
  • EASY focus on the present and potential risks represented by new technologies promoting at the same time their critical and proper use.
  • The project has a wide section of the public:
  • young people under age
  • IT operators
  • the government
  • local authorities and institutions
  • media and parents

examples good practices35
Examples & Good Practices
  • WEAGREEFor parents to learn more about the video games their children play.
  • This is a web interface allowing parents and children to keep contact with each other when physically distant.
  • The designers’ idea was to give children the freedom of space and exploration knowing that their parents would be always available. It could be defined as a protected space in which young people can experiment beyond the skills because, although virtual, adult assistance is given by supports figures and not by substitutes.
  • The use of this program helps also to keep in contact with each other, therefore, should they be occupied in their activities, there is always a trusted network catering for their needs.
  • This is an interface program full of psychological implications: from the development of children's competences to the conception of a social network in-between reality and virtuality.
examples good practices36
Examples & Good Practices

Internet and minors: Little Tom Thumb in the web

Developed by the 'International Crime Analysis Association-Italy”, to make parents and children aware of a safe Internet use

Sponsored by the Ministry of Communication, the Polizia Postale and the UNICEF

The project focuses on the assessment of children's’ behaviour outlining the molestation and enticement risks in chat rooms (i.e. contacts with paedophiles) and the dysfunctional behaviour of the adults (parents and teachers) who are in charge of control and prevention.

The projecthas developed the Little Tom Thumb in the Web to make parents and children aware of the norms for a safe navigation and to offer recommendations for a proper use of the web.

The project includes a guide to safety and to a proper use of technologies which will be used during the year as a support for a series of activities on the territory addressed to parents and teachers and supplying concrete elements of support for a safe Internet navigation for children.

thank you for your kind attention

Thank you for your kind attention!


Karvia - Finland

Project 2nd Meeting